Names of Jesus: Everlasting Father

In a time where everything is instant and temporary, the thought of everlasting is almost forgotten.  But it is still there, in eternity.  Isaiah 9:6 names Jesus as the Everlasting Father.  This is an eternal father (protector, provider, creator) who has no end.  Many earthly fathers may have failed to provide or protect us, but Jesus promises to be a father who never leaves us.  Isaiah further explains the everlasting in the next verse.

The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)

About one hundred years after Isaiah, the prophet Jeremiah talks of the Davidic Covenant – one with no end and no conditions.  God promises David and the nation of Israel that the Messiah will come from the line of David, tribe of Judah (see Leah, the Unloved – a Christmas story ), and establish a kingdom that will last forever.  No conditions of obedience on David or Israel are placed on this covenant, it is solely on God’s faithfulness and promise.  In other words, we can’t mess it up and we can’t stop it. God’s promises always come true.

“Look, the days are coming”— this is the Lord’s declaration—
“when I will fulfill the good promises that I have spoken
concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
In those days and at that time I will cause a Righteous Branch
to sprout up for David, and He will administer justice
and righteousness in the land. 
In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely,
and this is what she will be named: Yahweh Our Righteousness. 

“For this is what the Lord says: David will never fail to have a man sitting on the throne of the house of Israel. The Levitical priests will never fail to have a man always before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices.” (Jeremiah 33:14-18)

31 Days of the Christmas story from Genesis to John: Day 4 – God chooses a family

harpist

God’s covenant promise with Abraham came true. Israel became a nation, and the people were held captive for 400 years in Egypt just as it was prophesied in Genesis. Through God’s direction, Moses led the people out of bondage to a place called Mt. Sinai (Saudi Arabia). God gave them instructions on how to build a tabernacle for worship, and they became an organized people with a system of government. Joshua then led them to the Promised Land of Canaan, as God had promised to Abraham.

The nation of Israel is ruled by judges for several years until a prophet by the name of Samuel is born. Samuel is the last judge of Israel before the people choose a king named Saul to be their first king. King Saul later becomes mad, and the prophet Samuel, through God’s direction, anoints a young man David from the tribe of Judah as their next king. The monarchy is established, and the prophecy of Jacob regarding the tribe of Judah is fulfilled.

King David is a popular and successful king. A vision from the prophet Nathan is given to King David in this fourth prophecy, also known as the Davidic Covenant.

“Your house and kingdom will endure before Me forever, and your throne will be established forever.’”  2 Samuel 7:16

All three of these things (house, kingdom, and throne) are fulfilled in Jesus, as told by the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary, who was from the house of David.

Luke 1:32-33
“He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David.
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.”

I pray you will experience the joy and good news that was announced by the angel Gabriel on that night so long ago, when God came down to earth to fulfill His promise of a Savior and a Kingdom that will never end.

 * Merry Christmas *

31 Days of the Christmas story from Genesis to John: Day 5 – Jehoiakim’s curse

mary-and-joseph-travel-to-bethlehem

The nation of Israel fell on hard times after King David’s reign. Their hopes and dreams to be a great nation that would be a blessing to all nations was shattered. By about 600 BC, the nation had become divided and exiled from their homeland, because of their idolatry and worshiping of other gods, something God had specifically warned them against. The temple that King Solomon (David’s son) had built and had stood for 400 years was destroyed. The divided northern kingdom (Israel) was exiled to Assyria, and the southern kingdom (Judah) was exiled to Babylonia. Israel never had another good king but Judah, whose capital city was Jerusalem, still held to the promise that the line of David would always sit on the throne.

Several famous prophets rose during this time – Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel. They warned the people to turn back to God or face judgement, as well as give the people a hope of the coming Messiah. Jeremiah was the last prophet to speak before Jerusalem was destroyed. Jehoiakim was the King of Judah during this time and he was very evil. Jehoiakim heavily taxed the people and had them build an extravagant palace for him without paying them for their labor. He even burned the scroll that Jeremiah wrote. God was angry with Jehoiakim and cursed him through the prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 22:30
Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
“Record this man as if childless,
a man who will not prosper in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring will prosper,
none will sit on the throne of David
or rule anymore in Judah.”

This curse seems to void the Davidic covenant that said the Messiah would inherit the throne through an heir from David’s line. If none of Jehoiakim’s descendents, as heirs to the line of David, could ever sit on the throne again in Judah, how could this prophecy be fulfilled? And true to the curse, Jehoiakim’s descendents never did sit on the throne again. All hope seemed lost. But what may look to be humanly impossible is always possible through God. Divine intervention was required.

Mary’s husband Joseph or any of his children could never sit on the throne of David because he was a descendent of Jehoiakim. The requirement for the prophecy to be fulfilled was that the Messiah must be both an heir to the throne and an offspring in the line of David. It was impossible for one person to fulfill both roles without going against the curse.

Mary was a descendent of Nathan, David’s other son. Through the virgin birth, Mary fulfilled the biological requirement to be in the line of David and therefore her child could sit on the throne, while her husband Joseph fulfilled the legal requirement of being an heir.  Without the divine intervention of a miraculous virgin birth, the Messiah would not have been possible. This will not be the only time where evil forces try to stop the birth of the Messiah. It is a continuous conflict throughout the Bible, but one that never succeeds.

I pray that you will believe in the God who can make all things possible, the God of miracles, the One who can and always will provide a way of hope.  Nothing is impossible for God.

* Merry Christmas *